Information and Resources for Solopreneurs

Getting Started with Google AdSense

Written By: SiteSell in CTPM | November 17, 2014

Google AdSense Primer

Google’s AdSense (and similar programs from other companies) is a contextually based ad system. What does this mean?

It means that Google quickly reads the content of any page that contains its AdSense code, every time someone views that page. Based on that content, Google then supplies ads that are relevant — in context — to the page information. A page about dog grooming will show ads about dog grooming, or pet grooming, or perhaps about pets. It won’t show ads about iPods or travel to Thailand.

(Google has also started showing interest-based ads, if you opt in to show them — i.e., ads targeted to the individual visitor’s browsing history. If he visits a site on power tools, for example, and then your site on dog grooming, Google might serve power tool ads to this visitor.)

The AdSense system is very easy to use, and a simple way to add another income stream to your business’s bottom line. In the coming weeks we’ll publish more in-depth articles to help you turn AdSense into a consistent money-maker for your site.

Below are two links to the official Google AdSense site. They’ll give you some general information about AdSense. Following that is information to help you get started with AdSense.

Background Information…

What is Google AdSense?
https://www.google.com/adsense/www/en_US/tour/

Is Google Right for Your Site?/Case Studies
https://www.google.com/adsense/static/en_US/Success.html

Should You Participate in AdSense?

Participating in Google’s AdSense program requires no long-term contract. Want to stop participating? Simply remove the code from your site and send Google a brief note. There’s absolutely no risk in experimenting.

Since you’re free to place the ads anywhere you like on your site, it’s easy to leverage the income-producing potential of low-converting pages, without compromising the PREselling efficiency of the pages that earn a good income with other monetization methods.

In short, there are very few reasons why one would not want to participate in the AdSense program. In most cases, it’s a true WIN-WIN-WIN (Google-visitor-you) situation.

Of course, if you’re just getting started and traffic is low (say, less than 50 unique visitors per day), then hold off on joining and focus on building more great content! Then “do AdSense.”

Even if you aren’t entirely sure the AdSense program is right for your business, Google has made it easy to test.

However, keep in mind that the money you earn with AdSense depends on the competitiveness of your industry, the number of visitors to your site, the number of impressions, Click-Through Rates and the dollar value of your keywords.

Before you consider Google AdSense as an option for your site, do a self-evaluation…

Before you consider Google AdSense as an option for your site, do a self-evaluation…

First, ensure that your site is high quality — clean, with plenty of great information. Google has to answer to its advertisers, meaning it must maintain a high standard of editorial quality. If your site is one big sales pitch, you’ll be turned down.

If your site is loaded with tons of affiliate links (i.e., if you ignored the advice in the SBI! Action Guide), there’s no point in enrolling in the program… you’ll be rejected by the Google spider and their evaluation algorithm without ever being seen by a human!

A text-based affiliate link on a page is probably OK, but if you scatter them all over the place… bye-bye.

Banners galore? Hasta la vista.

So if you have many affiliate links, drop all the poor-performing ones. Keep only the cream of the cream, the few programs that are generating income. Trash the banners. Clean, scrub and polish.

Second, review Google’s program policies...

If your site passes your own two preliminary tests (before you apply to Google), congratulations! It’s time to move on! If not, it’s time to follow the Action Guide and clean up/improve your site.

There are occasions when AdSense may not make sense for your business…

  • Do you target a sensit0ive audience? Are you concerned about the sort of image your business will portray by running ads? If so, test very carefully.
  • Is your absolute #1 priority getting your message to your visitors to PREsell high-value returns? For example, are you selling your services, using SBI! to secure tens of thousands of dollars in new client business? Give AdSense a pass, or test very carefully.
  • Are the relevant keywords for your site of low value? Are Click-Through Rates low? Depending on the purpose of your site, AdSense may not be worthwhile. However, there are strategies for turning this around. Other articles in the AdSense series discuss them.

What if your application to the AdSense program is rejected? Here are some examples of what could need correcting…

  • If you have a contact or any other form, remove it. Once you’re accepted, replace the form(s) on the affected page(s).
  • Clean up all those affiliate links by removing the 90% of merchants that produce no income. Do you have 20 Amazon links on every page? Chop to the best 1 or 2 (unless this is working well for you, of course).
  • Do you have a page with contextual ads from another company? Make a choice. (You can have other ad blocks on the same page as your AdSense ads, as long as they cannot be confused with AdSense ads. So design the competing ads with different background and/or border colors.)
  • Move the sales pitch for your service or product off the main track. It shouldn’t be there anyway — PREsell, then sell. Create great content, and lots of it. That’s how you’ll get found, how you’ll PREsell and then how you’ll sell (services, e-books, hard goods, etc.).
  • Is your SBI! site mostly graphics? Mostly Flash? AdSense is a text-based technology, so it won’t work with sites that are all graphics or Flash.
  • Do you serve banner ads from an ad network? Get rid of them — unless you have a unique, lucrative CPM (cost per thousand) deal (almost unheard of).
  • If you’re already displaying advertising for an advertiser of Google’s, the algorithm may drop you.

Getting Started With AdSense

Google has created AdSense Academy to help you get off to a fast start with AdSense. Use it to apply, read the terms and conditions document, and learn about the various tools inside your AdSense account.

And don’t forget to update your account with the PIN you receive in the mail from Google. If you don’t, your account may be disabled, possibly permanently. That has happened to some SBIers.

Setting aside a few hours to get to know AdSense inside out is a must-do. Not only will this small investment of time ensure that you don’t commit any of the cardinal sins (resulting in a disabled account), you’ll also learn strategies for maximizing your future AdSense earnings.

Terms and Conditions

If you haven’t already done so, log into your account and read the AdSense Terms and Conditions agreement.

Read and understand the terms before agreeing to it. You don’t want to make any false steps.

Here are some key AdSense points to remember …

1- Abide by

  • All Google guidelines including Content, Webmaster and all Google product-specific policies.
  • Google’s Privacy Policy (https://support.google.com/adsense/answer/1348695). You must display a privacy policy on your website that discusses third party cookies and how to opt out.

2- Do

  • Make sure your site is easy to navigate and doesn’t include malware, popups or pop-unders that interfere with site navigation.
  • Report your site to Google, if your site falls under the Children’s Online Privacy Act and  don’t target advertising to anyone under the age of 13.

3- Don’t

  • Don’t cheat or engage in dishonest activity.
  • Participate in invalid click activities or encourage people to falsely click on your ads.
  • Mess with Google’s code to inflate impressions, or interfere with the proper display of ads.
  • Place code in pop-ups, emails or software. Adhere to policies for each product used. (See ad placement policies here – https://support.google.com/adsense/answer/1346295).
  • Post gambling-related or illegal content on your site if you want to display Google ads.
  • Divulge your Adsense results publicly (except for the size of your payments — you may reveal the size of your check publicly).

4- Don’t display ads on pages…

  • With copyright protected content, unless you are the owner or licensed to do so.
  • That promote the sale of counterfeit goods.
  • That don’t comply with Google’s Landing Page Guidelines.

Legally, there’s some nasty $500/hour lawyer-speak stuff in there.

Practically, you have nothing to worry about, if you play honestly. But do read it all and understand it — the above is our opinion, not legal advice.

Final Comments

If you make enough with Google, stick with them. There’s an old saying about business deals… “Never count the other guy’s money.” Google is too smart to ever alienate a super-savvy group of tens of thousands of Web marketers. So don’t expect the AdSense program to become a waste of time.

The bottom line for AdSense is SBI!’s core philosophies…

“Keep it real.”

-AND-

“Add value.”

So…

Write original material, about what you love and know preferably, or, as Joseph Campbell said…

“Follow your bliss.”

To receive future articles about Google AdSense and other ways to grow your online business, please subscribe to the SiteSell Newsletter.

SiteSell
SiteSell is a privately held Canadian-based company that helps everyday people start profitable online businesses.

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